Monday, 10 November 2014

Six KM strategies - pros and cons

There are a number of Knowledge Management Strategies that you can apply. All have their failings - we recommend a combination of two of them. 

There are many and varied ways to introduce KM to a company, and a lot of these fail. The main 6 strategies are listed below, with their arguments for and against; probably the worst approach (and one of the most commonly applied) is number 5.

Our recommendation, for almost all clients, is a two-pronged strategy of piloting and trials, plus opportunistic quick wins (a combination of numbers 3 and 6).

For more guidance on KM strategy, contact us, or get my book.

What is it
Arguments for
Arguments against
  1. Grass-roots revolution (Guerilla strategy)
Knowledge Management starts low in the organisation, without management support An attractive concept; that people do KM because they recognise its importance.
Unlikely to work when KM is up against urgent work, and management deprioritise KM efforts. Multiple diverse KM approaches are likely to emerge. Often fails to reach the tipping point.
  1. Management-driven
Management tell people to do Knowledge Management
Quick. May appeal to autocratic managers.
May create a “tick in the box” ethic. Multiple diverse KM approaches are likely
  1. Opportunistic
KM is introduced by looking for business opportunities.
A low energy approach – go where the appeal is.
KM team can be rapidly swamped with some KM activities, while other components of the KM system are not addressed.
  1. Move the whole business at once
Design a KM framework and roll it out to the entire organisation
Fast. An approach often advocated by large consultancies.
There is no reliable “one size fits all” KM approach, and if you get it wrong you get it wrong for everyone. Risky one-shot approach.
  1. Modular roll out 
Roll out components of the framework one by one (eg Cops, search engine, etc)
Allows testing of each component of the KM system
Individual KM components are unlikely to deliver value on their own. The organization will need to take the value proposition on faith until roll-out is complete.
  1. Trials and pilots

Pilot the entire KM Framework in one or more business areas. Review, improve, repeat.

Secure, robust, allows advancement by discrete steps and decisions.
Slow. Management may be impatient. Risk of being scuppered by organisational changes, unless you deliver quick wins as well.

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